Civic education

Against Hate Speech

Education of Polish youth as a path to European values

Creators

Who is behind this?

Janusz Bieńkowski

Centrum Rozwoju Lokalnego (The Centre of Local Development - CRL)

https://crl.org.pl

Poland

Who is joining forces?

The Auschwitz‑Birkenau Memorial and State Museum (ABM)

http://auschwitz.org/

Poland


Komenda Wojewódzka Policji w Katowicach (Provincial Police Headquarters in Katowice - KWPK)

http://slaska.policja.gov.pl/

Poland


The cooperation of the CRL, ABM and KWPK has been established 2 years ago. It’s goal was the implementation of actions aiming to promote tolerance and respect for the rights of minorities.

Idea

Idea pitch

The goal of the project is to raise the youth’s awareness and knowledge on the topic of human rights and counteracting the negative phenomena, such as hate speech, lack of tolerance, antisemitism etc.

The project is directed towards both youth and people working with them (teachers, police officers etc,) who, in this way, will learn how to prevent the use of hate speech and how to react to signs of it among young people.

Where will your project idea take place?

In the Silesian, Opole, Lesser Poland, Holy Cross Province and Łódzkie Voivodeships

What is the local challenge?

The project will be put in action in the southern region. Despite the presence of large city agglomerations, the area is mostly rural. The people of this area often share conservative beliefs, which also sometimes manifest as far-leaning (antisemitism, hostility towards migrants and sexual minorities). Beliefs of such a nature are also shared by the youth, who more and more often resort to physical, verbal, and mental violence against minorities. Institutions whose job it is to counteract them (school, police) often are unable to properly identify the symptoms of hate speech and the forms of aggression related to it or don’t have the right means to fight it. Therefore, it is relevant to organise means of education for both the youth and their caretakers.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

Using the example of antisemitism and the Holocaust, the project will show the negative impact of nationalism, racism, and xenophobia on social and political life. This will enforce the respect of human rights among the Polish youth. The project will also help people working with youth (teachers, police officers etc.) in identifying and dealing with cases of physical, verbal, and psychological violence incited by hate. Thanks to this both ideological (education of youth) and formal (working on methods and means of conduct) foundations will be set to strengthen tolerance, which is an important pillar of European democracy, in Poland. Enforcing tolerance, especially in small and closed communities (rural areas and small towns), will, as a result strengthen Polish democracy.

Who are you doing it for?

The project will be directed at two target groups
a) Youth between the ages 15-19 (minimum 450 people) from rural areas and cities below 100 000 citizens. Youth, which because of the place they live will be especially prone to taking in negative input from their surroundings (antisemitism, xenophobia, etc.), will be selected for the project.
b) Minimum 100 people who work with youth (teachers, caretakers, community police officers). These people, because of their social position or performed profession, have influence or are supposed to be a role model. They, however, cannot often effectively recognise the symptoms of hate speech themselves, and by extent cannot counteract them.

How do you plan to get there?

The project expects the fulfilment of the following goals:
- Away workshops for youth. They will be done in the Auschwitz Museum. Before and after online lessons regarding counteracting hate speech will be conducted for the participants.
- A panel of experts. A 2 day workshop for people working with youth. The topic will be recognising and fighting the symptoms of hate speech among youth.
- A contest for the youth. A contest for the participants involving the creation of a 3 minute long video promoting counteracting hate speech.
- Making the results public – this will involve making brochures for youth and teachers and organising a conference dedicated to fighting hate speech.

What are the expected results?

For the CRL success of the project will equal improving the youth’s activity in actions related to protecting human rights and counteracting hate speech. Another important element will be to create a network of organisations and institutions (schools, police, NGOs) which will act together against hate speech. As a result, solid ideological and institutional foundations will be created for further conducting coordinated actions in the matter of promotion of human rights and counteracting hate speech. The CRL intends to continue the undertaken actions within the sphere of the project and expanding them from the area of southern Poland to the entire country.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Poland, thanks to its role in the abolishment of communism has relevant accomplishments for the democratization of Europe. It began the process that ultimately allowed to integrate the countries of eastern Europe with the EU. Currently the fate of democracy in Poland is endangered. The nationalist moods, which manifest in hate speech and lack of tolerance for people of different creed, faith or sexual orientation have an influence on this. The project aims to stop these tendencies via reliable education of youth and the inculcation of European ideals such as tolerance and respect of human rights, which are values that the youth will carry over into their adult lives. This will help to strengthen the democratic values and respect for European values in Poland.

What is your story?

The CRL has coordinated actions counteracting hate speech in the past. They were initiated by the rising amount of cases of hate speech among youth. The actions were coordinated with cooperation with the police in selected schools. The educational actions helped to decrease the number of hate speech cases among participants. These actions were on the terrain of the Silesian Voivodeship. The project is a goal to spread the effects to the terrain of Poland. It will help spread the actions of the CRL to southern Poland and gain partners and experience, which in the near future will help lead similar actions in the entire country.

€ 46000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 46000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

a) Away workshops for youth (15 workshops for a min. of 450 people aged 15-19). Cost 15000EUR
b) A panel of experts (10 2-day courses for 100 people working with youth) Cost 12000 EUR
c) A contest for the youth. Cost 5000EUR
d) Making the results public. Cost 8000EUR
e) Managing the project. Cost 6000EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

The Centre of Local Development is interested in a general evaluation of the idea for the project.

Team

CRL

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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